Dealing with the direct aftermath of a car accident is chaotic and most people do not know what to do. However, there are several critical steps you will want to take that can ensure your safety and help you in the long run.
Here are six important steps to take after a car accident:
Step 1: Get To Safety
Your first priority is safety. Make sure you and everyone involved is okay and move over to a safe area on the side of the road, if possible. Check for any obvious injuries and seek immediate medical care if needed.
Step 2: Call The Police
If there is significant injury or damage to your vehicle call the police and ask to file a report. Be sure to get the names and badge numbers of the responding officers.
Step 3: Exchange Info and Gather Evidence
Next, exchange information with the other drivers involved including names, numbers, license numbers and insurance information. Be careful not to admit fault during this process.
You should also gather evidence during this time. Take photos of the damage and the vicinity and speak with any potential witnesses who might be able to explain what happened.
Step 4: Get Medical Help
After leaving the accident scene, you should seek medical attention if you haven’t already, even if you do not have visible injuries. Some injuries may be hidden or not immediately present so speaking with a medical professional can help ensure you are healthy and safe.
You should also document any treatment you receive as well as any doctors, physical therapists or other medical professionals you speak with. It’s important to get copies of medical reports and bills involved so you can report and prove them later.
Step 5: Carefully Speak With Your Insurance Company
Contacting your insurance company is the next step. You will want to get a damage valuation from your insurance company. During this process, be wary of early settlement offers, as these may not fully cover your damages or injuries.
You may also want to get an independent repair estimate or additional quotes.
Step 6: Contact An Attorney
Speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney is another important step after an accident. You might not think this is necessary, but an attorney can help you ensure you recover the full compensation you deserve. They can also help negotiate with your insurance company and facilitate filing a claim if necessary.
Being involved in a car accident is traumatic but knowing how to behave after the fact can help you immeasurably in the long run.